Achieving makes you prone to comparisons. We first engage in creating a world where we describe what achievement would look like, then we pursue these achievements and in the process of doing so we constantly readjust our achievements based on comparisons with our peers. Achievement is a highly relative and a subjective concept. If you think about our achievements and how we evaluate them, there are the following two cyclic things we do:
1. My achievements are the achievements accepted by my social circle
For a moment, imagine that you do something and are great at something that your parents and best friends have no idea about. I believe your feeling of “achievement” would highly be diminished because of the fact that no one understands the achievement. I am surrounded by people who think and reinforce my belief that doing a certain thing or possessing a certain thing in my life is considered an achievement. I imagine this as a proofread or a sign of authorization from your social circle that whatever you are doing is and can be considered an achievement.
2. Achievements keep readjusting
As you move towards your achievement, we are always very quick to readjust our achievement according to the surrounding we are competing in. As I move towards getting a new job, I would find myself comparing my growth/position to my peers from my class and feel good or bad about it. This indicates how we feel about our achievements is actually a constant comparison with others in the same/similar boat as ours.
It does not take a genius to figure out that with this chain of achievements and comparison a person would find himself/herself always chasing the wave he/she can never catch. And a simplistic solution to the cycle could lie in taking a step back and evaluating what YOU would enjoy looking back to. When you elongate the time period of any event, it takes away the daily challenges and competition you face with yourself.
So next time you feel your colleague getting a promotion over you – Look back and think about what would a great story for yourself look like, how you fought the challenge and found meaning in your work at that critical stage. It might just help you be satisfied with the course you choose.